FDH Bank has become first commercial bank to open a branch in Chiradzulu a development which has created excitement among communities in the district.
FDH Bank is in the process of constructing a branch in the district, which will help address issues of financial inclusion and illiteracy.
One of the businessmen at Chiradzulu Boma, Kingsley Njala told MANA that the construction of the Bank would contribute towards various socio – economic activities in the district.
“The distance covered and time spent to seek banking services in Limbe-Blantyre will be shortened as we would be accessing the services close to our homes. This will assist us in time management and money saving,” said Njala who owns a maize mill and welding workshop.
Njala added that as an entrepreneur, he expects the bank to provide soft loans to its customers for them to boost their businesses and engage in various activities meant to uplift the socio – economic profile of the district.
“Today’s business is on and off such that we rely on bank loans. If FDH Bank- Chiradzulu Branch will consider us in that aspect, we will greatly appreciate the gesture,” said Njala.
He however, added that it would also be imperative for the bank to be transparent in terms of products on offer so that people could make informed choices on the type of bank accounts to open.
Chiradzulu District has had no single commercial bank since Malawi attained independence in 1964 such that FDH Bank would be the first to operate in the district.
According to the FinScope Survey of 2008, only 45 percent of Malawi’s population has access to some form of informal or formal finance, implying that 55 percent is financially excluded. Out of the 45 percent that are financially included, only 19 percent have access to formal banking services, making Malawi one of the lowest in financial inclusion levels when compared to other countries in the region.
Government introduced Financial Inclusion Charter to, among others, increase the adult population with access to formal banking services to 40 percent by 2016.